Ulysses and the Sirens - Passionate Paintings
softetechnologies
14-10-2019    206 times
Ulysses Sirens Paintings

Circe, once the lover of Odysseus or Ulysses, warned him about the Sirens, the beautiful women with amazing voices, who try to allure and kill the sailors, who pass their island. While they actually intend to kill them, they assure the sailors that they just want to entertain them with their melodies. Circe informed Odysseus that those seductive dames are actually the Sirens, who sit beside the ocean, combing their long golden hair and lure the sailors with their enchanting voice. The unsuspecting sailors, who hear their song, become mesmerized by its sweetness and are drawn to the island like iron to a magnet. Their ship smashes upon the rocks as sharp as spears and the sailors join the many victims of the Sirens in a meadow filled with skeletons.

Apart from informing Ulysses about the Sirens, Circe also gifted him a large block of beeswax and advised him to put it in the ears, while passing the island of the Sirens.

Ulysses and the Sirens
By William Etty (England 1787-1849)
Ulysses and the Sirens
By Alexander Bruckmann (Germany 1806-1852)

As his ship glided across a calm and grey sea toward an island of sloping meadows, golden in the sun, the warning of Circe triggered fear in Odysseus. To follow her instructions, Odysseus immediately broke the block of beeswax into small pieces. He gave one small piece to each of his men and told them to soften it and put it into their ears.

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However, Odysseus intended to survive, despite hearing the infamous music. According to the advice of Circe, he therefore instructed his men to tie him tightly to the mast of his ship, so that he would not be able to steer the ship off its course. After he was firmly tied, his sailors started to row their ship alongside the island, with their ears plugged with the beeswax.

Ulysses and the Sirens
By Edward Armitage (England 1817-1896)

As the ship was gliding along the shore of the island, the alluring sound of music of the bewitching Sirens enchanted Odysseus’ heart. He longed to plunge into the waves of the sea and to swim to the island to fulfill his irresistible desire to embrace the Sirens, each one whom were as beautiful as the Helen of Troy.

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He strained his muscles to make himself free and the bonds cut deeply into the flesh of his back and arms. He urged and implored his men to make him free, which was futile, as his men, deaf with the beeswax, continued to row harder with their oars, as the Sirens seemed to them like hungry monsters with vicious, crooked claws.

Ulysses and the Sirens
By John William Waterhouse (England 1849-1917)

The song of the Sirens soon became an echo of an echo, as the ship speedily passed forward, leaving the island far behind. After reaching a safe distance, the crew took their breath of relief, unplugged their ears and untied their leader. Odysseus, in his turn, finally came to his senses, as he avoided a fatal catastrophe by heeding the advice of Circe.

Ulysses and the Sirens
By Charles Courtney Curran (America 1861-1942)

The mythical story of Odysseus and the Sirens is one of the famous legends, retold by Homer in his ‘Odyssey’. Like many other ancient mythological stories, it also inspired many master painters during the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries.

Ulysses and the Sirens
By Herbert James Draper (England 1863-1920)
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    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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